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Manhattan’s Electric Kool-Aid Penthouse Test

Posted By Jonathan Miller On June 5, 2013 @ 10:23 am In Manhattan | Comments Disabled

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Tom Wolfe’s “Bonfire of the Vanities [2]” gave me the phrase “master of the universe” which I can liberally use when (respectfully) describing the penthouse apartment demographic, but his earlier book cover [3] better matched the chart colors – hence the title.

But I digress…

I got a call by a reporter who thought there was an uptick in Manhattan penthouse sales. So I looked at the market from January 2012 by month for frequency and price trends. Penthouse sales represent a very specific and small market niche with a huge disparity in characteristics.

I found 329 penthouse sales out of a pool of 14,612 sales over the past 14 months. I tagged any sale with a “PH or some abbreviation of the word “penthouse” in the label. Yes there are penthouses that aren’t necessarily tagged as such, but that occurance would be random and not likely a factor. That’s a 2.3% market share for penthouse sales which seems to correlate to the housing stock i.e. 100 unit building with 2 penthouses.

Although a 2.3% market share seems a tad high to me, no real trend or pattern emerged. I did observe that the average sales price of a Manhattan penthouse was $4,249,323 since early 2012 or 3.1x higher than the overall average sales price of $1,354,766 in 1Q 2013.

I can’t let a bunch of research time go to waste so I whipped up a chart that shows…nothing.

Conclusion: No uptick. (ie No Kool-aid.)

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URL to article: http://www.millersamuel.com/manhattans-electric-kool-aid-penthouse-test/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.millersamuel.com/files/2013/06/MSpenthouse201213.jpg

[2] Bonfire of the Vanities: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bonfire_of_the_Vanities

[3] his earlier book cover: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:KoolAid_1stUSEd_front.jpg

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